The Penn State Bookstore will soon move into its new home.
The targeted date for the bookstore’s opening in the HUB-Robeson Center is Feb. 16.
“We’d hoped to open in the fall semester, but with any renovation you can have small delays,” Barnes and Nobles Director of Stores Steve Falke said. “If we couldn’t open by November we were going to delay it until the spring semester to make it an easier transition.”
Bookstore staffers began to move supplies from trailers on the HUB lawn back into the HUB Monday.
“It’s been a long road,” Falke said. “It’s a little hard for staff to wait. It’s like we’re little kids at Christmas, and I have to say ‘You can’t open the presents yet.’ It’s exciting for all of us.”
The bookstore is part of the HUB’s $44.6 million expansion and renovation, which was approved by Penn State trustees in May 2013. The project totaled about 54,800 square feet of additional space and 52,000 renovated space.
Renovations to the bookstore, which expanded from about 28,000 to 35,000 square feet, cost $4.6 million.
The move also means that about 30 trailers on the HUB lawn, where the bookstore operated since June 2013, will be removed in March.
The HUB lawn will be restored for students to reclaim in the fall semester.
“It’s been an exciting process, and as a former student I always enjoyed going to the HUB, but I also loved the HUB lawn,” Penn State Office of Physical Plant Marketing and Communications Specialist Susan Bedsworth said. “It’s a great space with great opportunities to hang out.”
The bookstore will feature a small cafe that can seat 50, a tech store, a general book store, greeting cards, a gift wrapping service area and a cosmetic service area. It will also have large glass walls that Falke hopes will attract students.
“We’ll have great visibility, and we’re also across from the Thon store,” he said. “We’ll feel a lot more connected to the rest of the building. Before we felt like we were in a concrete bunker.”
The bookstore will open on the heels of other completed parts of the renovation. The Penn State Federal Credit Union office opened last week, and the PNC Bank and ID+ office opened this week.
A grand reopening will be held at the large atrium and new staircase in March, though a date has not been set. Renovations, however, will take place for student leadership programming until May.